Review: Paper Mario – The Thousand-Year Door Explained to Parents

PaperMario featured EcranPartage

What parents need to know

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, released for the Nintendo Switch in 2024, is a remake of the game of the same name released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2004.

The story begins when Princess Peach summons Mario to join her in Rogueport in search of a mythical treasure. When he arrives in Rogueport, however, it seems that the princess has disappeared. Mario must retrace the steps of the princess, decipher the treasure map she sent him before her disappearance, and find the seven Crystal Stars that will allow him to reach the treasure. However, he must act quickly, since other evil characters are also looking for the treasure. These enemies try to distract and stop Mario in his quest throughout the game. In his adventure, Mario will explore various places, including a castle, a strange forest, a wrestling arena, a haunted church, and even the moon.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a role-playing game with mechanics similar to other games of this type, including exploration, levelling-up based on experience, puzzles, turn-based combat, buying equipment, recruiting companions, as well as the need to recover after a fight (with items, or by resting at the inn). The fights are theatrical and presented as a show on a stage, with spectators cheering or reacting negatively depending on what happens during the fight. This has been a popular element in Mario games since Mario Bros. 3 and it adds a humorous aspect and an additional difficulty to the fights. The various companions recruited during the adventure bring special skills of their own as well as special attacks during the fights. Companions can also level up and gain new abilities.

PaperMario 2 Shared Screen
Image taken from Nintendo’s website.


The game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. It does not influence our opinion.


Release date: 23 May 2024
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Available format: Physical and digital
Version tested: Nintendo Switch

Game genre: Role-playing, adventure
Themes covered: Discovery, exploration, defeating evil
Duration of the main game/story: Approximately 31 hours
Total time to complete everything: Environ 56 heures

Text languages: German, English, Simplified chinese, Traditional chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese,
Voice languages: No voice

Number of local players: 1
Number of online players: -2

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+

There are fights, but everything is adapted to a young audience. The game is not scary or horrifying, and the fights are cartoonish and silly.

It is essential to know how to read to progress quickly, since the characters do not speak. The dialogues are however simple and the level of language is accessible to all. The dialogues only progress on the player’s interaction, giving the players all the time they need to read everything.

As in most Mario games, the values are positive and the goal of the game is to find the princess and outsmart the enemies.

The game requires a certain amount of dexterity, especially during combat, and it can be a bit difficult to move in the 3D universe (the characters have a paper-cut look, which makes it a little harder to figure out at first). However, there are no 3D camera controls required, and you quickly get used to the controls.

Local game modes

There is only one game mode: the story mode (single-player, local).

Online Game Modes


Expansions/Add-ons (DLC)

No DLCs.

Our opinion

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a much-loved classic, and this remake is a nice tribute to the original title. The story remains the same, and the visual is a modernized version of the paper model style of the first game. The colours and music are beautiful, and the dialogues are wacky and funny. Unlike most Mario games, the coastal village of Rogueport presents an unusual environment, inhabited by hostile or twisted characters, as well as a gallows in the center of the village, presaging a rather dark context. We quickly get to the heart of the story and the exploration at the beginning of the game offers ample opportunities to learn about the environment, the characters and the combat mechanics. It’s very welcoming to players who are new to the Mario universe and need support, but more experienced players will also be delighted to rediscover this classic.

Among the notable changes to the original game are the new combat mechanics, which add some difficulty and a dynamic aspect. Mario often has to react quickly to attacks and can counter some of them in order to reduce damage. He must also make his attacks at the right time in order to maximize the effects, which requires a certain dexterity. In addition, during the confrontations, an audience witnesses the course of the fight. Special characters in the audience can help (by giving items) or penalize by throwing hammers or putting the audience to sleep. The player must therefore be concerned with defeating his enemies, but also with staying alert to the public and putting on a good show in order to get as many stars as possible. It’s an interesting mechanic and a positive addition, which makes the fights more interactive and funnier.

PaperMario 1 Shared Screen
Image taken from Nintendo’s website.

A new battle-master also allows the player to perfect their fighting techniques outside of combat, which is useful for mastering combat mechanics quickly. An underground pipe room also allows you to quickly revisit places already visited; A welcome addition, considering that the game still requires a lot of backtracking in exploration, which can be annoying or complex for younger players or less used to this kind of mechanic. The game offers tips and clues as needed to get the player back on track, which is also a nice new feature for players who are more visual or less used to role-playing games.

For these reasons, this remake is probably more suitable for very young or inexperienced players than its predecessor. Our review is positive, and there’s no doubt that new and long-time Mario fans will be thrilled with this remake.


About Myriam Baulne

Traductrice agréée aussi détentrice d'un DEC en animation 3D et synthèse d'images, Myriam est constamment à la recherche d'opportunités afin d'allier ses passions pour les jeux vidéo, les TTRPG et la rédaction. Armée d'un solide bagage journalistique, elle est outillée pour vous rapporter toute l'actualité et l'information sur vos jeux favoris.

View all posts by Myriam Baulne